Want to learn to play like Dimebag Darrell of Pantera?
With the Dimebag Darrell Player study from Fret Zealot, you’ll be able to “Walk” in the footsteps of the legendary Pantera and Damageplan guitarist, learning his signature tricks, licks, and techniques.
Darrell Lance Abbott, known by his stage name “Dimebag”, co-founded both bands with his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott, the son of a country music producer, started playing guitar at age 12 on a Les Paul-style Hohner that he received on his 12th birthday. Young Abbott was influenced by bands like KISS, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, and Judas Priest.
According to GuitarWorld, at age 14, Abbott entered a guitar contest at a Dallas nightclub, which Dean Zelinsky, founder of Dean Guitars, was judging. “Dimebag blew everyone away,” Zelinsky recalled in a 2010 article.
Pantera was formed in 1981 as a glam metal band. Vinnie Paul accepted an invitation from his high school classmates to start a band, but on the condition that Abbott be allowed to join as well. They released their first album “Metal Magic”, in 1983 when Abbott was 16 years old. After releasing two more albums in the glam metal style, the Abbott brothers started being influenced by bands like Metallica and Slayer, which helped them to develop the groove metal style Pantera is known for.
Abbott used major thirds in his riffs and leads – a technique inspired by Van Halen – which created dissonance with tones in minor keys. He also utilized harmonics to create a signature “squealing” sound, and used alternative tunings throughout his career, including Drop D and down 1 and ½ step tuning.
In 2004, while performing with Damageplan in a Columbus, Ohio nightclub, 38-year-old Abbott was fatally shot onstage, as well as the band’s head of security, a fan, and a venue employee. His funeral was attended by thousands of fans and artists, including Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen donated his original black-and-yellow guitar to be included in Abbott’s casket – Abbott had met Van Halen a few weeks earlier and asked him for a replica of the guitar. Abbott was posthumously inducted into Hollywood’s RockWalk in 2007, and was ranked as the most influential metal guitarist of the past 25 years by VH1 in 2015.
Once you learn Abbott’s signature style, you can test drive it with over 90 Pantera tabs on the Fret Zealot app!